Speaker Topics

Our speakers will cover the following topics during the plenary sessions:

WHAT ARE THE PRIORITIES OF THE CITY OF PASSAIC FOR THE INTEGRATION OF IMMIGRANTS?

BACKGROUND

  • Passaic is essentially a multicultural and multiracial city. According to the Census Bureau statistics, its population is composed of: Hispanic or Latino from many countries 73.2%, White 15.7%, Black or African American 9.9%, Two or more Races 4%, Asian 3,4%, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Island 0.1%
  • Language other than English spoken at home 76.1%
  • Person in poverty 33%

SPEAKER

Hector C. Lora
Mayor, City of Passaic


What are the new jersey state department initiatives for immigrant integration?

BACKGROUND

  • The State Departments, agencies and organizations work together to ensure that all New Jersey residents are valued, supported and welcome as an integral part of the Garden State.
  • The State of New Jersey and its partners at the local level and in the non-profit and private sectors all play important roles in creating opportunities for improving the integration of new Americans

SPEAKER

Tahesha Way, Esq.
New Jersey Secretary of State


HOW IMMIGRANTS CAN HAVE FAIR LEGAL REPRESENTATION

BACKGROUND

  • One of the main issues for immigrants in their integration process is that they are often unaware of the laws and regulations that govern society, and many of the mistakes they make or the opportunities they lose are due to ignorance of the law.
  • Steps taken by the NJ Bar Association to protect the Civil Liberties of Immigrants.
  • There is a growing consensus that our immigration system is broken. Severe visa backlogs hurt U.S. businesses, undocumented workers are frequently exploited, and record levels of deportations tear families apart.

SPEAKER

Evelyn Pading, Esq.
President, New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA)


THE IMPORTANCE OF AFFIRMATIVE ACTION FOR IMMIGRANTS’ INTEGRATION

BACKGROUND

  • Hispanics will be vastly underrepresented in the Senior Executive Service. In 2030 it is projected that Hispanics will make up 6.8 percent of senior federal employees, much less than the projected civilian labor force participation rate of 23 percent.
  • Women will continue to be underrepresented in senior positions. Women are projected to be 41 percent of posts in 2030, compared to 47 percent of the projected workforce.
  • Affirmative action is intended to promote the opportunities of defined minority groups within a society to give them equal access to that of the majority population.

SPEAKER

Deirdrẻ Webster Cobb, Esq.
Chair/Chief Executive Officer, New Jersey Civil Service Commission


THE ROLE OF COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN IN THE INTEGRATION OF IMMIGRANTS

BACKGROUND

  • The governments of the countries of origin have a responsibility to protect the lives and interests of their fellow citizens abroad.
  • Consular missions are an essential part of immigrant support networks for the stabilization and integration process of immigrants.

SPEAKER

Divia Cepeda Rojas
Consul General of Colombia


THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS FOR THE INTEGRATION OF IMMIGRANTS

BACKGROUND

  • Immigrant nonprofits are important to immigrants, but they can only do so much. Other nonprofits, public agencies, philanthropic groups, and community entities can partner with immigrant organizations in facilitating immigrant integration, and in the process, strengthen and enrich the entire community.

SPEAKER

Sara Peña, MPA
Director, Department of State Center for Hispanic Policy, Research and Development (CHPRD)


IMMIGRANT WOMEN AND THEIR ROLE IN INTEGRATION

BACKGROUND

  • Female immigrants represent 51 percent of the overall foreign-born population, the gender of the immigrant population raises implications for sending and receiving countries, with respect to labor opportunities, family structure, gender roles, and more.
  • Immigrant women fared worse on poverty measures than either immigrant men (with 20 percent living in poverty compared to 17 percent for their male counterparts)
  • There are nearly 12 million immigrant (foreign-born) women workers in the United States today, comprising just over 7 percent of the total labor force. According to data from the 2015 American Community Survey (ACS), large numbers of immigrant women workers are found at both ends of the educational spectrum; just over one-third have a bachelor’s degree or more, while more than two-fifths have a high-school diploma or less.

SPEAKER

Beth Marmolejos
Passaic County Workforce Investment Board Chairperson


The importance of second and third generation immigrants maintaining their identity and relationships with their country of origin

BACKGROUND

  • Mexican migration to New Jersey has been growing since the 1980s. Recently, this population has become more visible as ethnic enclaves have grown. According to the 2016 American Community Survey, it is estimated that there are currently 240,000 Mexicans living in New Jersey, making them the third largest Latino group in the state, after Puerto Ricans and Dominicans.

SPEAKER

Ana Flores
Executive Director, Mi Casa es Puebla


DO IMMIGRANTS HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE?

BACKGROUND

  • The full integration of immigrants is not reached until they acquire and exercise the right to vote.
  • The right to vote is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution as a basic right of citizenship, that right is not extended to immigrants, unless the person has already become a citizen of the United States.
  • Statistics demonstrate that there is a significant difference between the voting records of first and second-generation compared to the third and higher generation. First- and second-generation eligible voters were less likely than third-and-higher-generation eligible voters to register or vote.”
  • While these differences of registration and voting rates are not dramatic, they may reflect generational differences in social and economic factors (such as income and education) that are related to the likelihood of voting.

SPEAKER

Shona Mack-Pollock, Esq.
Passaic County Superintendent of Elections & Commissioner of Registration


INCLUSION OF IMMIGRANTS IN URBAN CITIES: POLICIES AND PRACTICES

BACKGROUND

  • Local authorities do not decide on national immigration policies, nor can they control Immigration flows in their cities. However, it is the local authorities that must face the consequences of them.
  • Local authorities play a key role in the social inclusion, participation and representation of immigrants, they must plan and adopt inclusion policies. Urban policies should consider inclusion as a dynamic and bidirectional process, with the active participation of immigrants and all members of the community, because they have the same responsibility.
  • Inclusion does not only mean that the basic needs of immigrants are met, such as food, housing or health, but also the creation of an urban environment in which civic, social, educational and economic inclusion is understood as indispensable conditions for sustainable development.

SPEAKER

Carlos M. Gonzalez, Esq.
Council Member-At-Large, City of Newark, NJ


The importance of social support networks to advance the integration and inclusion of immigrants

Background

  • There are many organizations that are established for, and or participate in the integration of immigrants, but it is necessary to have more cohesion and collaboration between these organizations and programs to enhance their effectiveness.

Speaker

Jesselly De La Cruz
Executive Director, Latino Action Network Foundation


An Introduction to the Surrogate’s Court

Background

  • Today the county surrogate administers an office which is almost certain to touch the lives of every person in the county at some time. Aside from the appointment of a guardian of a person and/or property of a minor, the supervision of an adoption, or a hearing for an incapacitated person, as examples, it is increasingly common, after death, to visit the surrogate for the appointment of someone to handle the estate of the deceased.

Speaker

Bernice Toledo, Esq.
Passaic County Surrogate Court Judge


How civic engagement is an important step in the immigrant integration process

Background

  • Becoming actively involved in the host country’s society is a key element in immigrant integration. By making their voices heard, taking an interest in how society works, and participating in the decisions that shape its future, immigrants show that they are an integral part of their new country – the very objective of integration.

Speaker

Mohamed T. Khairullah
Mayor, Borough of Prospect Park


Overview at the most shocking changes to immigration policy

Background

The current administration is making significant changes to immigration policy:

  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) posted for public inspection in the Federal Register a final “public charge” rule that will dramatically expand the number of immigrants that DHS could deem ineligible for green cards and admission to the United States on account of income level and prior use of certain public benefits.
  • “Zero Tolerance” policy that led to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) separating asylum-seeking parents from their children.
  • Undermining the Immigration Court System: Recent Attacks on Access to Justice and Due Process
  • Increasing USCIS case processing times negatively affect individuals and their families
  • USCIS officials may now issue a denial without sending an RFE or NOID in cases filed without sufficient initial evidence
  • On July 22, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a new policy designed to dramatically expand expedited removal to apply throughout the United States to anyone who has been in the U.S. for less than two years.
  • On April 29, 2019, President Trump issued a memorandum ordering changes to the U.S. asylum policies. The memo orders the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security to propose regulations within 90 days that would dramatically alter how asylum seekers obtain protection.
  • In November, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider the lawfulness of the Trump administration’s rescission of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Speaker

Mark S. Parry, Esq.
Board of Directors Member, IACO


Role of faith organizations in the integration of immigrants

Background

  • At times, worship services can be the least integrated hour in America, but the exceptional level of engagement provided by the faith community – as witnessed by the variety of social services, ministries and volunteer pursuits – is a critical element in successful newcomer reception and integration

Speaker

Rev. Bolivar Flores
Pastor, Ministerio El Sol Sale Para Todos Internacional


The importance of promoting cooperation between community leaders and law enforcement officers

Background

The mission of the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office is to investigate and prosecute all crimes that take place within its jurisdiction while promoting the security of its residents and respecting the rights afforded to all crime victims.

  • Fulfill our statutory requirements.
  • Hold offenders accountable for their crimes.
  • Maintain and improve the quality of case presentation in Passaic County’s Criminal Courts.
  • Foster partnerships with community leaders and law enforcement within Passaic County.
  • Advance outreach events for the betterment of the community.
  • Collaborate with all judicial partners to improve the efficiency of case management.
  • Seek and sustain the administration of justice.

Speaker

Camelia M. Valdes, Esq.
Passaic County Prosecutor


The international protection and immigrant assistance

Background

  • “Without question, all people who move between countries deserve full respect for their human rights and human dignity.”
  • “Since the earliest times, humanity has been on the move. Some people move in search of labour or economic opportunities, to join family, or to study. Others move to escape conflict, persecution, terrorism, or human rights violations. Still others move in response to the adverse effects of climate change, natural disasters, or other environmental factors.”

Speaker

Alfonso Morales Suarez
Consul General of Ecuador


Programs to protect and safeguard the rights of immigrants

Background

  • One of the main priorities of the Consulates of Mexico is to protect and safeguard the rights and well-being of the Mexican nationals abroad.

Speaker

Jorge Islas Lopez
Consul General of Mexico


The importance of consular assistance for immigrants

Background

  • The policies of protection and assistance to Peruvians abroad are applied both to those who are in regular and irregular immigration status and provides, for emergency nationals, the assistance required in order to safeguard their integrity.

Speaker

Yvan Rafael Solari Calvo
Consul General of Peru


Services accessible for passaic county residents through the county clerk’s office

Background

  • The Passaic County Clerk’s Office. The County Clerk is an elected constitutional office established by the New Jersey Constitution and responsible for providing a variety of important services. From the recording of records related to all property transactions, the processing of new passport applications, the administration of oaths to notaries, the issuance of veteran identification cards, the processing of ballots by mail voting and election results certification, this is an office that will impact most if not all Passaic County residents and or business owners over the course of their activities and professional needs.

Speaker

Danielle Ireland-Imhof
Passaic County Clerk


Challenges and opportunities for immigrant students

Background

  • It is critical for the integration of immigrants that the specific needs of children and youth be considered as priorities and that special attention be paid to their educational opportunities.
  • In 2016, 17.2% of immigrants ages 25 and older had a bachelor’s degree and another 12.8% had attained a postgraduate degree, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

Speaker

Maritza Davila
Assistant Director of Admissions, PCCC


The contribution of immigrant to our economy; the importance of promoting healthy banking habits

Background

  • Immigrants Entrepreneurs invigorate the economic: One fifth of self-employed business owners in New Jersey are Immigrants, $3,289,700,700 the total revenue generated by these immigrants-owned business
  • Immigrants are vital members of New Jersey’s labor force, accounting for a third of workers in multiple industries.
  • Immigrants in New Jersey have contributed billions of dollars in taxes: Immigrant-led households in the state paid $13.1 billion in federal taxes and $6.5 billion in state and local taxes in 2014.
  • As consumers, immigrants add tens of billions of dollars to New Jersey’s economy. New Jersey residents in immigrant-led households had $54.6 billion in spending power (after-tax income) in 2014.

Speaker

Marlene Caride, Esq.
New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner

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